Company News Reporter, London
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Nov 20, 2013

Britain’s Royal Mail advisers defend sale price

LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Advisers on the British
government’s privatisation of Royal Mail said the postal
service could not have been sold at its current price, rejecting
accusations that one of the biggest state sell-offs in years was
done on the cheap.

On Wednesday banks including UBS and Goldman Sachs
, which managed Royal Mail’s sale on the stock market,
were summoned before a parliamentary committee to explain how
they priced the near 500-year old company.

Nov 19, 2013

Enterprise Inns veteran chief executive to retire

LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Enterprise Inns founder
and chief executive Ted Tuppen will retire from the pub company
next February, after 23 years in the role, and be replaced by
its chief operating officer.

Tuppen, who founded the business in 1991 before listing it
on the London Stock Exchange in 1995, will retire as CEO on Feb.
6 and will leave the firm on May 19, Enterprise said on Tuesday.

Nov 17, 2013

Long wary, UK pub chains take chance at last on Ireland

LONDON/DUBLIN (Reuters) – After years of waiting on the sidelines, Britain’s major pub chains have finally spotted an opening in Ireland, hoping tumbling property prices will give them a chance to expand into a neighboring market they never managed to crack.

At the height of a property boom in 2007 one in six Dublin pubs that changed hands was sold for at least 14 million euros, with almost half sold for over 6 million – far too pricey for big players in need of as many as 12 sites to make a market work.

Nov 14, 2013

Ted Baker sees fewer new openings in 2014

LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Designer clothing brand Ted Baker
said it would open fewer new stores in 2014 after a big
expansion push across Europe, the United States and Asia that
has helped sales surge, and would wait for better opportunities
the following year.

Sales jumped 31 percent in the first half of the year and
rose by 24.4 percent in its third quarter, the firm said on
Thursday, as strong trading in its core UK market was boosted by
international openings and an improving wholesale market.

Nov 7, 2013

Halfords buoyed by Britain’s sunny cycling weather

LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Bicycles-to-car-parts group
Halfords posted an unexpected rise in first-half profit,
buoyed by a combination of Britain’s growing interest in
cycling, a warm summer and improved product ranges.

The group, which is in the early stages of a 100 million
pound ($161 million), three-year turnaround plan to boost
slumping sales, said adjusted pretax profit rose 6.4 percent, to
44.6 million pounds.

Nov 5, 2013

Britain’s G4S may sell weak divisions in turnaround effort

LONDON (Reuters) – G4S (GFS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to shake up the weakest parts of its business and lay off up to 400 UK staff as the new boss of the world’s largest security firm by revenue battles to restore its reputation tarnished by a series of high-profile blunders.

Chief Executive Ashley Almanza said on Tuesday he would sell or restructure 35 poorly performing businesses, accounting for about one twentieth of group turnover, with any disposal proceeds earmarked for higher-growth emerging markets.

Nov 5, 2013

G4S announces revamp, job losses as new CEO starts turnaround

LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – G4S said it would shake up
failing parts of its business and lay off up to 400 jobs as the
new boss of the world’s largest security firm looks to improve
its fortunes after a series of high profile blunders.

Chief Executive Ashley Almanza told reporters on Tuesday he
would sell, grow or restructure some 35 units within the
business in order to “sharpen our strategic focus and strengthen
our investment in customer service, organic growth, and
technology and innovation.”

Oct 25, 2013

Serco CEO quits after government contract scandal

LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Serco, the global
outsourcing firm battling to save its relationship with the
British government after a series of scandals, said its chief
executive had quit as part of a major reorganisation aimed at
restoring its reputation.

The government, which accounts for about a quarter of
Serco’s revenue, said in July it would not award Serco and rival
G4S any new contracts pending a review of their existing
ones, after an audit discovered they had charged for tagging
criminals who were dead, in prison or not being monitored.

Oct 24, 2013

G4S chief for Britain resigns from security group

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – G4S, the world’s biggest
security services firm, said its UK chief executive Richard
Morris had resigned and been replaced by the group’s chief
operating officer Eddie Ashton.

A company spokesman on Thursday confirmed a newspaper report
on the resignation of Morris but declined any further comment.

Oct 21, 2013

Madame Tussauds owner Merlin to join London stock market

LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Merlin Entertainments, whose
attractions include the Madame Tussauds waxworks and Legoland
theme parks, plans to sell at least 20 percent of its shares in
a stock market debut in London next month.

Stronger equity markets have helped to support a pick-up in
new London listings after several years of drought.

    • About Neil

      "I'm a company news reporter covering the retail and leisure sectors. Based in London I write on everything from the big retailers to fashion chains, hotels, drinks firms, pubs and coffee shops. I've previously covered the outsourcing sector and before that worked on Reuters sport for three years. You can follow me on Twitter @ReutersMaidment"
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
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